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The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

Discussion in 'Diablo 3 General Discussion' started by Azzure, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    As a follow-up to Flux's recent news post: Additional non-item Runestones Evidence

    Here is my theory (and this is a just a bit of fun, it is probable that it is mostly incorrect)

    The Azzure Rune Theory

    Introduction
    In my opinion, there are 4 problems with the Leveling / skill system: (I'm sure there are a lot more but these 4 are the ones I am basing my theory on)
    - The level 30-60 deadzone: This is the period between level 30 and 60 where your character currently has all leveing rewards and leveling up simply does nothing but increase your numerical level value, and increases your stat points by a miniscule margin.
    - The Rune Inventory Problem: The attunement Rune system causes major inventory issues for the reasons everyone already knows about, so I won't go in to too much detail. Basically, 5 colors of runes for each ability = 125 runes NOT including different Ranks and different affixes.
    - The Rune Rank Redundancy: Rune Ranks are completely redundant at the moment. It was designed when skills still had ranks (skill points). However despite them being redundant, they are still important for "mastery" of your character, and progression outside of gear.
    - Lack of Player-decision customization: Leveling up at the moment grants the player no control over their characters destiny now that skill points and stat point distribution are out. Simply put.

    The theory:
    While I obviously can't guess exactly what they are specifically doing, these are the broad-strokes of my theory (which could turn out to be totally wrong mind you). The specific details are almost definitely wrong, but I think the main concept has a decent chance of being accurate.

    I think there is a good chance Blizzard have changed Runes to no longer be permanent physical items, but rather be tied to your level-up progression whilst perhaps still retaining some mastery component to it through itemization. I think all 4 issues above are all going to be addressed with these changes. In other words, the new Rune system is going to integrate Runes with leveling up, rather than dropped items.

    While I have a reasonable amount of confidence that this will be the case, the specifics below are total guesses, so I fully expect most of it to be inaccurate:

    So instead of Runes dropping and you attuning them to an ability of your choice etc, I think Blizzard are now distributing Rune effects by "unlocking" them for abilities as you level up
    . Whether they do this by adding a "Rune Points" system in which you gain a point to spend on unlocking a rune effect of your choice when you level up (similar to what skill points were), or some other mechanism, such as Rune effects unlocking themselves at certain level ups (like skills).

    Under this system, you would "unlock" all the Rune effects by level 60 for every ability. And when selecting your Rune, you would simply select it from your skill-selection window, no different to selecting a skill, rather than "socketing" a Rune in it.

    The second part of this theory is that I think Rune ranks will be replaced with either an automatic rune-power increase as you level up (exactly like Skills after the Weapon damage % changes) (eg Rank 5 at level 40, rank 7 at level 60) OR more likely by some consumable item that permanently increases the rank of a Rune effect, like a Tome of Meteor Shower Rune Rank 5, or a Tome of Frost Hydra Rune Rank 7. The higher ranks obviously a lot rarer, in inferno etc.

    I'd love to see your ideas and predictions below!
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2012
  2. ElementEight

    ElementEight IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    -Runes no longer drops, and therefore no longer have ranks. Questionnable decision, given that drops directly translate to $ for Bliz. Big oversight, imo. I was wrong there.

    -Glyph style IS in fact what this new system is. I was right there.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2012
  3. Soval

    Soval IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    I think some people are WAY too invested in the idea that Diablo 3 needs skill/stat points like DII in order for the game to work properly. This leads to some very incorrect assumptions like the game having a "Lack of Player-decision customization" (which ignores selecting skills, runes, passives, followers, and gear) and there being a "level 30-60 deadzone" (which ignores the equivalent level 31-99 deadzone of D2, where you also didn't learn any new skills but your character did get stronger each level, just like D3). This clinging to the notion that you need to click on a semi-permanent incrementor for there to be meaningful customization and a purpose in leveling up is just silly, and in any case just flat out wrongheaded.

    So no, I doubt they will add in a new old points distribution system for improving runes.

    On another note, I think that the itemization element of Runes is just too great for the Devs to scrap them as items. Getting the increasingly rarer higher-level runes is supposed to be something not only hard to get, but valuable to forge with or trade. I doubt they would give that value as an item up.

    Otherwise, who knows what they have in store for them.
     
  4. MartyrOz

    MartyrOz IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    I think you have three valid 'issues' regarding the rune system - I don't see rune ranks as redundant. A higher tier rune will provide a higher bonus effect to your skill. The skill calc page states that: "Note: Information on this page is based on a level 60 character and rank 4 runestones." This implies that lower ranks of runes give less of a bonus and higher ones more.

    I think that the current rune system is designed to be a substantial post-60 skill power timesink. That's why the last four ranks of runes only drop in Inferno and rank 7 will be as rare as some of the top runes in D2 (not ZOD rare but around the top 10 rarest)

    Right now? I'm sure they are aware of the 30-60 dead-zone (as you explained). But I think their solution to that wont come at the expense of their post-60 solution to skill advancement. They want post 60 to be about skill boosts AND Item upgrades, I think they will keep it like that.

    So how do we solve 30-60? I haven't given it much thought so can't really suggest anything right now. But I am fairly confident they will address it...
     
  5. MartyrOz

    MartyrOz IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    31-99 was no deadzone in D2. From 31-50 alone, most peoples main ability was boosted to level 20, increasing it's power by hundreds of %.

    This continued all the way up to 99, although it had a diminished effect on power in the sense that you were capping out your 3rd or 4th 'main' spell or synergy at that point. But it still boosted your ability power.

    Currently in D3, from 30-60, you gain zero new spells and only increase your rune rank by 1, at level 48 in hell when finding rank 3 runes.

    If the power boost from rune ranks is sequential, this is a pittance of power increase for half of your characters levels.

    This is what people refer to as the 'dead zone'


     
  6. MartyrOz

    MartyrOz IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    I'm being pedantic, sure. I don't think that is correct math on the rune-inventory issue. You don't have individual runes for each of your skills, eg: If you have a rank 1 crimson rune you can put it in any of your skills, if you give it to a friend, they can put it in any of theirs.

    It's still an issue, as 7 levels of runes and 5 colours = 35 potential slots in your stash.

    This was similar to D2's gems and runes and even though you could cube them up levels, you still required a large part of your stash dedicated to all the various non-perfect gems and unpaired runes. For most people, anything under flawless gems and 'thul' rune were 'more trouble than they are worth'.


     
  7. tvc

    tvc IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    If i understood you correctly i do not think what i have quoted is the case. I am pretty sure that blizz wants every player to be able to try out every runestone for ebery skill by the end of normal. That is the reason why they give us all the skills before 30 and i think blizz consider the rune-effects just as much a part of the skills to present it all in normal for the grandmothers.

    I do however think you might be touching on to something here.


     
  8. shoko

    shoko IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    Don't see the deadzone is changing with your system - In my opinion there is no real deadzone.
    After you finish normal mode you will begin to farm you gear/items/runestones and that's diablo? :)

    True.


    Don't like this idea. I want to trade the older/badder skill runes or give them to other chars.
    If they introduce 5 sockets for each skill where you can place your runes and let us change them like the current skill system in beta patch 12 it will be fine for me. And this is not a big of a deal to implement i think.


     
  9. shoko

    shoko IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    This is like the glyph system at WoW with the addition of glyph levels. No please not! :)

    As i said in my post. Simply change them like the current skill system in beta patch 12. This is fine.

    Selling/Trading is better than loosing the item. Don't like the idea of replacing.


     
  10. shoko

    shoko IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    The current known system will bind a rune stone to the skill.
    That means we have a lot more than 35 runes do deal with!

    Like this one here:

    View attachment 737


     
  11. ShadoutMapes

    ShadoutMapes IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    If runes doesnt drop anymore I would be seriously disappointed (granted it wouldnt be the first time).
    Blizzard was right from the beginning with their idea that the more stuff that can drop the better in a Diablo-game. Dropping runes, items for lvling crafting, crafting materials (indirectly) etc. All good.

    However if runes still drops, but are then consumed into a rune storage, that would be fine. And helpful in regard to the inventory space issue.

    Still there need to be some way to lose your runes imo. That would be a decent respec cost. Such as being destroyed when changing skills.
     
  12. shoko

    shoko IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    I agree, but Blizzard cut that out with the removal of the mystic. I remember you've needed some salvaged rune stone dust for crafting better ones or enhance items


    View attachment 738


     
  13. Zokar

    Zokar IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    Maybe I'm twisted, but I'd love to see a system where you get all the rune-effects as soon as you get the skill, but you have to level up the rune-effect by using the ability. The more you use the ability with a specific effect, the stronger it gets. Make it a nice and slow level up process :D
     
  14. Chaboi

    Chaboi IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    The runes actually dropping was one of the most dynamic item segments in the game. Seeing as the runes are the one thing that ALL characters will use..it is far more advantageous for Blizzard to have them drop as items. This will drive much of the volume you see on the AH.

    One version I could see happening is that as you level up you gain access to higher level runes...meaning you find a unid runestone, and it's rank is randomly rolled every time you identify it (1-10 lvl 1 is all you can roll, level 11-20 you can roll lvl 1 or 2, 21-30 you can roll 1-3, etc). It harkens back to the feeling of finding a "present" each time but also extends the item hunt because you aren't guaranteed to get level 5+ just because you are in inferno
     
  15. konfeta

    konfeta IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    Hm. A way to keep skill rune attunement while eliminating the biggest flaw of the system, inventory cluster****. Nifty, brings it closer to the idea of spellbooks from Diablo 1 as well. There are two problems with this though:

    1. Can't hand off used Wizard runes to a Wizard second character on your account.
    2. That affix on runes and trading thing. This will hamper that somewhat.

    Perhaps we will get a new line of recipes where we can use a combination of character and artisan's recipe to craft new runes? For example, if you have Obsidian Meteor Rune Rank 6 of +50 Strength, you craft Magical Obsidian Meteor Rune Rank 6's with a random affix.

    On the plus side, this whole thing does make experimenting with skills less annoying, don't need to carry an inventory worth of runes if you are out on the field, mixing up effects.

    If we still have affixes, that could be it. Let's say you nom nom the aforementioned Rune of +50 strength. If you changed it, it will now be forced to use the new affix of +5 "haha you suck", losing the original consumption bonus.

    This is actually a very nifty way to both allow experimentation, keep the hunt for great rune affixes going even after you max out on runes, and have a respec cost (once you commit to a really good Rank 7 rune bonus, you don't want to just change out unless you really need to). A major question is on how to tune the whole thing with the specifics.
     
  16. imthedan

    imthedan IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    I like the idea, but I will miss the runes actually dropping. I guess the scrolls would be the new "runes" as they become tradeable.
     
  17. Scorch Hellfire

    Scorch Hellfire IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    You seem to forget that the same exact thing happens in Diablo 3 as happened in Diablo 2. Your skills in Diablo 3 will scale up a little bit with every level you obtain just like spending points in your skills did in Diablo 2. Just because you aren't manually clicking a little button in the ui to make it so doesn't mean it is significantly different. There was a deadzone in Diablo 2 for gaining skills just as there is in Diablo 3 but you still progress in power in both stats and skill power after gaining access to all skills in both games. Diablo 3 is better though in that it makes all skills scale up simultaneously and without having redundant skills that replace ones from earlier in the tree so that all skills will be unique and viable at the end game.

    You obviously haven't been paying attention to how they have been developing them. The last time they talked about the runes system there were going to be unattuned runes that permanently attuned to the first skill you socketed them in, so yes there were individual runes for each skill and seven ranks for each. Look at the official Game Guide page on diablo3.com. The unattuned runes are still there.

    Anyways... back on topic. I personally agree with ElementEight and Soval. Runes don't need to scale up with your levels like skills do. I'm pretty sure that Blizzard is perfectly fine with letting runes and equipment be our only method of power progression after normal (aside from automatic base stats and skill scaling). The ranks are enough of a progression system and having them permanently stored in the skill ui solves the issues they were having with the attunement system. They may still have them drop as completely blank runes like before or they may have them drop as colors, but I think they will definitely have them be bound to whatever skill you put them in first and then freely swappable through the skill pane through some sort of drop-down or pop-out list that shows all of your current runes for that skill.


     
  18. Jaago

    Jaago IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    Most of them don't, actually, since attacks are based on weapon damage; killing power increases only when you're upgrading your weapon or other gear.

    I, for one, would definitely welcome a character progression system that is less dependent on the loot you get, such as the possible change suggested in the OP. It's quite unlikely, though, that they would give up an item-based system that would likely be a back-bone of the auction houses.



     
  19. Azzure

    Azzure IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    fyi one of the indicators that they've done this is the removal of the Mystic. Rune materials were the main material used in enchants, which was all the Mystic did. Removing Mystic and enchants = sign of no more rune items?

    Runes being items are clumsy design, and you could achieve the same advantages that being items provide, without them being a cluttered mess of items that you'll have to spend hours juggling around in your inventory.

    I think people who are nervous about Runes changing from items to unlockables have a right to be, however there are many methods Blizzard could explore to make the Rune progression be as meaningful as finding higher ranks. So don't be afraid of this change, as it will probably have very little impact on the feel of how the system works now, and have the advantage of not clogging up your inventory.

    One of my other theories about the removal of common scraps and the notion of not picking up white items is they they did this to drastically improve the performance of their DB's. If you have millions of players clicking on every single white item that drops, that's a huge performance hit on the DB's for something no more than a gimmick (common scraps). In essence, this change reduces the load on DB servers 10 fold. It's a good gameplay change also.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2012
  20. Soval

    Soval IncGamers Member

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    Re: The Azzure Rune Changes Theory

    Doubtful. Salvaging runes for the Mystic was always a tertiary benefit, not their primary purpose. Removing the Mystic doesn't diminish the main importance of runes in character progression or as a valuable item to find and trade. We don't even know if salvaging runes for rare mats has even gone away.

    Making runes and important, progressively harder to acquire item seems to be an important factor in their (albeit rather vague) proposed changes thus far.
     

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